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Leadership Influence: Maximize Your Impact. (#100)

The Confident Leader

In April 2016, I read a Seth Godin blog post which made me ponder two questions. What influence do I have? How can I use it make an impact? The answers I discovered changed the trajectory of my professional life. Those two questions can do the same for you. 

Everyone reading this has an enormous amount of [influence]. What will you do with it?
— Seth Godin (American author)

This Week’s Edition

Leadership Influence: the ability to affect others and change their behavior in a given direction by impacting people’s attitudes, values, and beliefs.  How are you using your Leadership Influence to make an impact?

Clarify Your Thinking

At the time I read Seth’s blog post, I wasn’t suffering from a lack of belief. I was not in a slump. In fact, I had a thriving coaching practice. But on that particular day, his message struck a chord. He utilized his influence to make a tremendous impact. It encouraged me. 

I printed his post. Taped it to my wall. Got a coach. Defined my ideal client. Retired those who were not. Took greater risk. And bet on myself. I set out to utilize what influence I had to make an impact on those who were served by my message about leadership.  

Then I stumbled. One hundred weeks ago, I questioned whether this idea of a newsletter, The Confident Leader, was viable. Who would read it? Would it be any good? Would it have an impact?

In coaching top leaders, I’ve found that many don’t start things because they find it hard to quantify the impact. If they can’t determine with some level of certainty the potential impact, they ask themselves, “why bother?” This causes them to waver and often fail to launch the project under a cloud of doubt.

Scientists call this psychological phenomenon the underestimation bias – leaders tend to underestimate their influence in a given situation. Because of this, they are less likely to attempt to start something new, effectively diluting their potential impact

The irony is that a leader’s impact on a given project or circumstance is a lagging indicator. Meaning, the leader won’t know the true impact until after they’ve begun. 

Free coaching: “You’ve got influence. When you use it, you create impact even if you can’t see it, don’t feel it or find it hard to believe it.”

Old Thinking: I don’t’ think I am going to do it. I’m not sure my contribution will make enough of an impact. 

New Thinking: I know I can do something. I don’t have the evidence to prove that my effort will make a difference, but I’ll never know unless I step forward. 

Thoughts Lead to Actions

If I had given in to my own underestimation bias, discounting my influence, I would never have started this weekly newsletter. One hundred weeks later there is reason to celebrate. While I don’t know the full impact of these 100 editions, readers have shared stories of using the content to better lead themselves and their teams. That’s impact!

The same impact is available to you. This newsletter was created for the express purpose of equipping leaders with the thinking and the tools to increase their influence and maximize their impact. Try these simple steps:

  1. Identify the thing you have been meaning to do but haven’t.

  2. Make an appointment to truly evaluate the thing.

  3. Decide one way or the other. Stop putting the decision off.

  4. Use your influence to start doing the thing.

  5. Track the impact and use it as motivation to keep going.

Boost Your Performance

Seth will never know the impact he had on me in 2016. I wonder whether he questions his impact? Don’t miss this week’s video about a leader who learns of their impact. Plus, pro tips on how to know your true impact.

What’s Your Opinion?

What’s something you have been meaning to do but underestimating your impact? Share with me at:

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.

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